Post-Odette: Around 1.5 million houses still need rebuilding, says int’l org

January 26, 2022 - 4:56 PM
People rebuild a house damaged by typhoon Rai, in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, Philippines, December 20, 2021. Picture taken December 20, 2021. (Erwin Mascarinas/Greenpeace/Handout via Reuters)

Around 1.5 million houses in the Philippines were damaged by Typhoon “Odette” (international name: Rai), according to latest data from an international human network.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that Odette caused more destruction than other typhoons in recent decades.

“It’s a little over one month since Typhoon Rai slammed into the Philippines, yet millions of people still urgently need humanitarian support, including homes, clean water supplies and healthcare,” said IFRC Head of Philippine Country Office Alberto Bocanegra in a release.

“Filipinos are tough, and they are rebuilding, with support from Philippine Red Cross and other agencies, but more must be done to help people rebuild their shattered homes,” he added.

According to the IFRC, the Philippine Red Cross has been ramping up its relief efforts in rebuilding homes to hardest hit areas.

These include Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, Siargao and the Dinagat islands.

The IFRC said that PRC volunteers were transforming fallen coconut trees in these areas into coco lumber for safer and stronger homes.

Since the typhoon hit, the PRC volunteers already reached at least 36,000 people.

They provide the victims’ “emergency shelter support, including toolkits, construction materials and tarpaulins to help people set up temporary shelters and start rebuilding.”

“Emergency teams are providing kitchen sets, sleeping kits, pillows, mattresses, bedsheets, blankets and clothing,” IFRC also said.

“Longer-term support is required to enable families to rebuild their homes safely, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances, living on isolated islands and in remote or hard to reach areas,” it added.

BBC Philippines correspondent Howard Johnson also tweeted about IFRC’s update on Odette’s aftermath.

Johnson also attached a short footage of one of the houses destroyed by Odette.

“A new assessment of the impact of last month’s Super Typhoon Rai, estimates it damaged around 1.5M homes, greater destruction than any other typhoon in recent decades. @IFRCAsiaPacific say there’s concern it’s been too quickly forgotten & stress more humanitarian support is needed,” he said.

As of January 14, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that more than two million families and seven million persons were affected by Odette.

A total of 1,360,682 damaged houses were also reported in the following regions—MIMAROPA, Region 6, Region 7, Region 8, Region 9, Region 10, Region 11, Region 12, CARAGA and BARMM.

More donations

Several brands, countries and organizations have previously pledged financial aid and relief support to help the Philippines recover from the typhoon.

READ: Google aids recovery efforts for ‘Odette’ survivors

Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. recently delivered 60,000 liters of drinking water to affected communities in the regions of Visayas and Mindanao.

It also allocated P5 million worth of disaster relief funds to its associates who work in these areas.

Additional relief assistance including 70,000 liters of drinking water and nearly P800,000 worth of grocery items were also distributed to Odette survivors.

Moreover, the company is also coordinating with the Mandaue City government in Cebu for the deployment of a mobile water treatment equipment called a SETA machine to typhoon victims who needed it.

Meralco announced that it had successfully restored power in the Cebu and Bohol, two of the hardest hit provinces by the typhoon.

Some of their linemen and engineers are still extending assistance in Surigao del Norte and Siargao Island.

To those who still want to help, the PRC, UNICEF Philippines, the ABS-CBN Foundation and other private organizations still have their donation channels open for in-kind and cash support.

RELATED: Rundown: Where you can send help for typhoon Odette victims